- Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra is currently the only phone with amazing zoom capabilities, offering 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom.
- The upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra may lose the title of zoom king as it is rumored to have a 3x 10MP optical camera and a 50MP 5x periscope camera.
- The 50MP camera’s wider aperture and larger sensor size can capture brighter, more detailed images, even in poor lighting conditions, and still offers up to 10x zoom with minimal drop in quality.
If you want a phone with amazing zoom capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is your only choice. The Korean giant has been offering 10x optical and 100x digital zoom on its flagship phones since the Galaxy S21 Ultra in 2021. While many of our top Android favorites also feature a periscope lens, they are limited to 5x optical zoom. However, the Galaxy S24 Ultra may lose the title of zoom king, as Samsung looks set to ditch the 10x shooter from its 2024 flagship.
The dropout Ice universe It claims the Galaxy S24 Ultra will feature a 3x 10MP optical camera and a 50MP 1/2.52-inch periscope camera that offers 5x optical zoom with 0.7µm pixels (via Robot body). Technically, the rumored 50MP sensor is 5x larger than the 10MP periscope sensor that Samsung is currently using in the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Combined with a wider aperture, the 50MP camera should receive more light and take more detailed photos, which could be useful in poor lighting conditions. Samsung can then rely on the extra detail and its AI prowess to deliver up to 10x zoom with almost no noticeable drop in quality.
Google is already doing something similar with the Pixel 7 Pro, using the larger 48MP, 5x periscope viewfinder and Super Res Zoom to offer up to 30x digital zoom. While image quality takes a hit at higher zoom levels, the phone can capture more usable photos between the 6-15x zoom range.
However, it’s hard to beat the utility of a dedicated 10x periscope camera, especially when recording videos. Long-range zoom enables you to take photos with a new perspective from a distance. On the downside, image quality deteriorates quickly in difficult lighting conditions due to the small size of the sensor.
If Samsung switches to a 5x periscope camera, it will be interesting to see if the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers 100x distance zoom. This feature has been heavily marketed since the Galaxy S21 Ultra debuted, and it mainly relies on the 10x optical shooter to work.
There were previously rumors that the Galaxy S24 Ultra could switch to a 50MP 3x telephoto camera to deliver better image quality beyond 3x, but apparently, that won’t happen. The Samsung Galaxy S24 lineup is still at least four months away from its official release, so expect more conflicting rumors to continue emerging for the time being.
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